About 30,000 people were ordered Saturday to evacuate their homes in British Columbia, in western Canada, provincial officials said, as a massive fire ripped through the city of Kelowna.
“The situation is very dynamic and the numbers are changing all the time, but so far we are currently hovering around about 30,000 people on evacuation order and an additional 36,000 people on evacuation alert,” said Bowen Ma, British Columbia’s Minister of Emergency Management. And prepare for the weather.
Air evacuations on Thursday began derailing residents in Canada’s capital of the Northwest Territorieswhich was close to the city with a population of 20,000.
The Northwest Territories government said Thursday that people in Yellowknife’s four high-risk areas should leave as soon as possible, and that residents in the other areas have until noon on Friday to leave.
Half the population of the Northwest Territories has already been displaced by the fires, BBC News reported, citing a federal update on Friday. Thousands of people have fled the fires, traveling hundreds of miles to safety or waiting in long lines for emergency flights, as Canada’s worst ever fire season shows no signs of abating.
Canada has seen a record number of wildfires this year –– With more than 5,700 fires burning more than 137,000 square kilometers (53,000 square miles) from one end of Canada to the other, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.
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